Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

The best washer dryer combo machines

Few things are more annoying than having to spend an afternoon at the laundromat doing your laundry for the week. Not everyone has enough space to accommodate both a washer and a dryer. Thankfully, washer and dryer combos, such as the LG WM3488HW, allow you to make quick work of your laundry from the comfort of your home, without taking up the space required by separate units.

Our smart home team has tested appliances from more than 50 different brands to deliver everything you need to know to select the best washer and dryer combo machine in 2021.

At a glance

Best washer dryer combo: LG WM3488HW

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why we picked the LG WM3488HW:

LG’s compact combo washer and dryer is a perfect fit for an apartment or small home. The 2.3-cubic-foot model has an array of LG technology to improve both washing and drying cycles. That includes ventless drying, so you don’t need to worry about where to position the model, and a clean cycle that you can use after several loads to sterilize the inside of the washer drum (something that’s especially useful for these combo units).

The LG WM3488HW also includes six different washing motions to make sure even larger loads are thoroughly cleaned. The model doesn’t skimp on treatment options, either, with dispensers for pre-wash liquids, bleach, and fabric softener. It’s also designed for quiet operation and automatic cycle optimization based on the load. Washing programs include the traditional options, plus choices like baby wear, sportswear, speed wash, and several other options.

Best smart washer dryer combo: Blomberg WMD24400W

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why we picked the Blomberg WMD24400W:

Washers can come with a lot of great smart features these days, and combo models are no exception. We particularly like the many options of this Blomberg model, which allow you to customize your washing and drying cycle exactly how you need to — a useful option for starting your laundry in the morning and coming back after work just in time to have your clothes ready to hang and fold.

The 1.95-cubic-foot combo includes 16 different wash programs, including hand-wash, baby clothes wash, jogging wear wash, a wash and wear setting for easy results, and much more. The Blomberg WMD24400 also has intelligent temperature control to make sure the temperature is always where it needs to be for a specific load of laundry. The delay start option will let you choose exactly when the cycles begin, so you can get the timing just right with a little experience. All of this is controlled with a basic dial and a useful digital display.

Best large-capacity washer dryer combo: LG Signature LUWM101HWA

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why we picked the LG Signature LUWM101HWA:

The spacious 2.8-cubic-foot drum in this model is only one of the many benefits LG brings to the table with its latest work. The LCD display and SmartThinQ compatibility are welcome features, since few combo models are this smart. You can monitor and control the model from your phone, get notifications about what cycle it’s in, and even track how much water and electricity you’re using. The “auto dose” feature will detect soil levels in your laundry and dispense however much detergent it thinks is necessary for a full cleaning (you also get alerts for when it’s time to fill up detergent again).

If you prefer more control over your laundry, you can choose from 17 different washing programs and six drying programs (including outdoor, perm press, and delicates). We also really like the TurboWash design that helps power through larger loads in less time, saving up to 20 minutes when you fill the dryer. It’s also compatible with LG’s Side Kick, which is a mini pedestal that also functions as a tiny extra washer that’s great for washing one set of dirty clothes or tackling smaller loads while the big washer does its work.

However, all of this tech and performance does have a high cost: This is the priciest model on our list and only suitable if you are really ready to invest.

Best compact washer and dryer combo: Deco DC 4400

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why we picked the Deco DC 4400:

This energy-efficient machine may be small, but don’t let its size fool you. It’s loaded with cool tech and smart engineering. This unit has one-button convertible venting/condensing options, meaning you can easily convert the dryer from vented to ventless. There’s a winterize option for RV users, while dual fans make the machine dry faster, and a quiet mode makes the dryer operate at less than 60 decibels.

In addition to its intelligent engineering, the Deco DC 4400 also thrives at cleaning and drying clothes with features like an automatic water level sensor, delay start time, a sensor dry feature, automatic heat and dry levels, a 12-minute hot-dry refresh cycle, and a wrinkle guard feature.

When you go to unload the machine, the 180-degree door swing and angled door handle reduce back strain. The Deco DC 4400 is also easy to install, has built-in diagnostics, and can be portable. It feels like the only things this machine can’t do are fold your clothes and put them away for you.

Best cheap washer dryer combo: Magic Chef MCSCWD27W5

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why we picked the Magic Chef MCSCWD27W5:

Although this Magic Chef all-in-one machine has a smaller capacity (2.7 cubic feet), it can handle an exceptionally large amount of laundry. The washer’s maximum capacity is 26.4 pounds, and the dryer’s max capacity is 17.6 pounds.

This affordable washer dryer combo boasts a lot of features, too. It has a delay start time feature (up to 24 hours), de-wrinkle options, and an LED display. With 16 total wash cycles, you can properly care for virtually all of your clothing, from your delicate items to jeans to dress shirts. There’s even a tub clean cycle to keep the Magic Chef clean and mildew-free.

What is a washer dryer combo?

A washer dryer combo is a single unit that both washes and dries clothes in the same machine. An all-in-one washer dryer combo looks a lot like a standard washing machine, except when you place dirty clothes in the machine, they come out clean and dry without the need for you to transfer the clothes from the washer to the dryer.

Which washer dryer combo is the best?

Major appliance brands have some excellent combo models, including LG (which made it to the top of our list) and Kenmore.

What’s the difference between a washer dryer combo and a laundry center?

Laundry centers are sometimes considered a type of combo machine — they look a lot like stackable units, but they’re connected as one unit with a washer on the bottom and a dryer on top. Although a laundry center performs both functions in one machine, they’re different from all-in-one combo machines because you still have to transfer the clothes from the washer portion of the machine to the dryer portion.

How does a washer dryer combo work?

An all-in-one combo washer dryer combines a front-load washer with a dryer that’s often (but not always) ventless, meaning the dryer doesn’t require an exhaust system to the outside of your home.

If the washer dryer combo uses a condensing ventless dryer, once the machine washes the clothes and they cool down, the air inside the chamber is heated, and the spinning drum produces condensation. This condensation is drained out of the unit through a drainage tube. Then, the process happens again, and more hot air and tumbling cause more condensation until the clothes dry. To learn more about how ventless dryers work, check out our guide on how different types of dryers work.

You can also typically make an all-in-one unit perform only one task (wash only or dry only) if you’re washing clothing that can’t be dried or if you’re fluffing wrinkled clothes, for instance.

Does a washer dryer combo really work?

Yes. If you purchase a reliable machine, your washer dryer combo unit will wash and dry your clothes, but you should not expect it to perform exactly like a separate washer and dryer. This is an entirely different way of doing laundry, and an all-in-one combo machine is typically not going to do your laundry as fast as a separate washer and dryer.

Is a washer dryer combo only for a small apartment or RV?

Oftentimes, washer dryer combos are ideal for people with limited space or for those who want to avoid the laundromat. If you have a large laundry room in your home, you’d likely opt for a separate washer and dryer over a combo all-in-one washer dryer.

Should I buy a washer dryer combo or separate machines?

It depends. If you have limited space, these machines can be huge space savers. An all-in-one combo machine also makes it so you can set it and forget it. Because the machine both washes and dries in one fell swoop, you won’t have a moldy load of laundry waiting for you if you leave the laundry sitting in the machine (like you would if you left a load of laundry sitting in the washer too long).

Is a washer dryer combo energy-efficient?

Washer dryer combos are generally energy-efficient. The front-load washer uses little water, while condenser dryers are also considered energy-efficient (although drying typically does take longer in a combo machine).

What kind of detergent do I use in a washer dryer combo machine?

Typically, you should use high-efficiency (HE) detergent.

How large are washer dryer combo machines?

Washer dryer combos are smaller than separate machines. Their capacities are often around 2 to 3 cubic feet. You can, however, find a larger capacity machine (for instance, the Kenmore Elite 41002 is 4.5 cubic feet), but you typically won’t find the mega capacities that you can find with standalone washers and dryers.

Can I clean a full load of laundry in a washer dryer combo machine?

Yes and no. You won’t be able to clean a large load of laundry in a compact machine that’s 2.3 cubic feet or less. You can fit a small basket of laundry in a compact machine (probably about two or three days of clothing), but you won’t be able to fit a large comforter or a large, full load of laundry.

If you have a larger capacity combo machine (for instance, 4.3 cubic feet), you can probably fit about the same amount of laundry as you could with a standard capacity washing machine.

How long does a washer dryer combo take to clean clothes?

It depends on the specific unit and the amount of clothes you’re cleaning. However, generally speaking, the wash cycle can take anywhere from 25 to 90 minutes. The drying times take longer (typically anywhere from 60 minutes to as long as 4 hours). Washer dryer combo machines typically take longer to dry your clothing than standalone ventless dryers (probably around double the time).

Does a washer dryer combo dry clothes completely?

For the most part, yes. However, it can be time-consuming to get a laundry load fully dry. The clothes also might not have that toasty sensation you would get if they came out of a vented dryer.

Can I use dryer sheets in a washer dryer combo machine?

We do not suggest using dryer sheets in any kind of combination washer/dryer machine; there are just too many downsides. 

What else should I consider before buying a washer dryer combo?

Getting the laundry setup you need is important, but you also have to consider how to stay within your budget. You’ll also want to think about your laundry habits, and if you’d be open to changing your typical schedule for something that would better suit a washer dryer combo. If you usually do all your laundry in one day or wait to do laundry until your hamper is overflowing, it could be challenging to tackle the entire load with your washer dryer combo. 

If you have the space for it, a full-size laundry center is a good investment because you’ll have virtually no limit to load sizes. Inversely, if you’re the kind of person who routinely forgets to take your laundry out after a wash load and then has to re-wash the clothing to get rid of gross smells or mold, then you may benefit from a washer dryer combo. 

Be sure to consider the combo machine’s laundry capacity. If your unit consistently is too small for your regular laundry loads or can’t fit your blankets, curtains, or towels, you may find yourself shopping for another laundry unit in the near future. You’ll also need to decide where you want your laundry machine to be located and make sure there are compatible electric plugs in place.

Editors' Recommendations

Erika Rawes
Smart Home Evergreen Coordinator
Erika became a professional writer in 2010, and her work is published all over the web on sites ranging from USA Today to…
The 6 best washer and dryer brands in 2024
An LG WashTower in a kitchen area.

There is absolutely nothing better than having a washer and dryer readily available in your own home. Some of us may take advantage of this perk, but it is truly life changing. It is important to have a washer and dryer that make your life easier, not more difficult. We're previously shared our list of the best washing machine brands , and now we've rounding up six favorite and coveted washer and dryer brands that won't make you dread doing your laundry. Plus, they all feature a range of color options, prices and styles to make sure they fit comfortable and aesthetically in your home.

Anyone who owns a home knows how great LG appliances can be. Loaded with advanced features and innovation, these washer and dryers will enhance your laundry experience. Since the brand is so reliable, you shouldn't think twice about purchasing a washer and dryer from LG that include options such as top load and front load washers and dryers, washer dryer combos, and washer and dryer towers.

Read more
The 7 best washing machine brands for 2024
Maytag MVWB765FW

Purchasing a new washing machine can require some research, and if you’re hoping to land one of the best washing machines you’re going to need to know the best washing machine brands. Names like Maytag, Samsung, and GE are pretty easy to recognize, but there are a lot of washing machine brands out there that make a good case to be the best. We’ve made our selections for the best washing machine brands in 2024, and you can read onward to sync up with our selections before you shop. Many of these brands offer some of the best washer and dryer deals currently going, and we’ve provided ways to shop those as well.

Maytag’s history goes back more than a century, and its laundry appliance lineup began to boom in the 1950s. Nowadays Maytag makes high quality washers that feature a range of modern technologies. Most of its washing machines offer quick wash cycles, steam options, and wrinkle control cycles. Some even feature an extra power option to boost stain fighting. You can get a Maytag washer in a variety of colors and sizes, and all of them offer high efficiency wash technologies.

Read more
The best time to buy appliances (and the worst time to buy)
black stainless steel appliances trend kitchenaid suite 2

Appliances like refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers are relatively large purchases. Sure, you can probably buy a basic refrigerator with a top-mounted freezer for around $500 to $1,000, and you can buy a basic dishwasher for a few hundred bucks. But if you want better quality, more features, or smart home connectivity, the bill can quickly add up.

Because the bill for new appliances can easily get up into the thousands, a lot of people research and plan before making a major purchase like a refrigerator or washing machine. They might even research for months to find the best option (which option: Top-load or front-load washing machines?) at the best price. According to data published on Statista, quality and value for the money are the two most important aspects consumers consider before making appliance purchases.

Read more